Stress At Work: 8 Signs You Are Suffering

 In Stress at Work
Mental health at work

Many people in work live by the mantra of a little bit of stress at work is good for you and can actually increase productivity, in some ways this could well be true. However, there is a very fine line between a manageable amount of stress and an unhealthy amount, and there is absolutely no health benefit to being too stressed at work.

Joan Kingsley, a consultant clinical and organisational therapist is one of those people that share this particular view, she is also one of the best placed people in which to have an opinion on the matter as she has spent 25 years researching workplace psychology and co-authored a book, ‘The Fear-free Organization: Vital Insights from Neuroscience to Transform Your Business Culture’.

One of the first, most important steps to managing stress at work is to be able to tell when you are actually suffering from it. In order to do this, Kingsley has identified eight signs that you are suffering from stress at work, and what to do about it.

A little bit of stress is part of normal life, but that feeling dread, or fretting over things out of work hours, is a sure sign that you are overly stressed. Other signs include:

Feeling panicky

Being unable to focus

Feeling like you can’t cope

Having difficulty staying in the moment

Feeling overwhelmed

Having a dry mouth

Getting butterflies

A racing heartbeat 

If you have these symptoms for too long, you could be at risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and a low immune system that could lead to other ailments such as the flu or the common cold, Kingsley warned.

Making the decision as to whether you are overly stressed at work ultimately comes down to the kind of person you are, for example if you work well under pressure and your best work comes as a result of an approaching deadline, then stress in that instance is not necessarily a bad thing. However some people cannot work like this and need to plan more ahead of time.

Avoiding stress can at times be as simple as taking more breaks. “You shouldn’t be working more than 90 minutes at any one time. It’s been proven that the brain cannot concentrate for more, so after that time you need a break. You won’t be functioning well,” Kingsley said.

She called for organisations to do more to support efforts to relieve stress in their workforce: “It’s one thing to say you need more relaxation time, but if it’s not supported in the organisation it might cause more stress!”

We are proud to support National Stress Awareness Day on Wednesday 2nd November 2016.

Know someone that needs support? Please share this with them so they know they’re not alone.

      jessica thompson head of stress at work

Article by Jessica Thompson, Head of Stress At Work at Oakwood Solicitors.

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